12 Common Moka Pot Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them)

By Evelina •  Updated: 07/09/22 •  9 min read

The Moka pot is a classic Italian coffee maker that’s been around for almost a century. Though it’s simple to use, there are a few common mistakes that people make when using it.

In this blog post, we’ll outline the 12 most common Moka pot mistakes – and how to avoid them. Read on to get your perfect cup of coffee every time!

1. Not Preheating the Moka Pot

hot moka pot

When you’re making coffee in a Moka pot, it’s important to preheat the pot before adding the ground coffee and hot water. If you don’t preheat the pot, the hot water can cool down too much before it reaches the top chamber, resulting in a weak cup of coffee.

Preheating the pot helps to ensure that the hot water stays hot, allowing for a more consistent brew. Simply fill the bottom chamber with hot water and let it sit for a minute or two before adding the ground coffee and screwing on the top chamber.

Then, place the Moka pot on the stove over low heat and wait for the coffee to begin dripping into the top chamber. Once the hot water has been completely displaced by coffee, your Moka pot is ready to go!

Read Also: Moka Pot Brewing Guide

2. Filling The Pot With Too Much Water

stovetop espresso maker

If you’ve ever made coffee in a Moka pot, you know that the key to a good cup is using the right amount of water. If you add too much, your coffee will be weak and your moka pot coffee taste will be sour. But if you don’t add enough, the coffee can come out bitter and burnt. So how do you know how much water to use?

Basically, you want to fill the pot so that the water level is just below the bottom of the filter basket. This gives the coffee oils time to extract into the water, giving you a rich, full-flavored cup of coffee. If you add too much water, the coffee will be too diluted and you’ll lose some of those delicious coffee oils.

Most Moka Pots have a valve that indicates the ideal water level. If yours doesn’t, just fill it until the water reaches the bottom of the filter basket and then stop. You can always adjust the amount of water depending on how strong you want your coffee to be.

3. Wrong Grind Size

moka pot brews

If you’ve ever made Moka pot coffee and found it to be bitter, you may have been using the wrong grind size. Moka pot coffee is best made with a medium-fine grind, as this will help to extract all of the flavors from the coffee beans.

If the grind is too coarse, the water will flow through the coffee too quickly and won’t have time to fully extract the flavors. This can result in a bitter cup of coffee.

Conversely, if the grind is too fine, the water will take too long to filter through the coffee and will over-extract the flavors, also leading to a bitter cup of coffee. So, if you’re having trouble getting your coffee just right, make sure you’re using the right Moka Pot grind size.

4. Not Cleaning Your Moka Pot Regularly

a bitter moka pot coffee

If you enjoy making coffee at home with a Moka pot, it’s important to keep it clean. Over time, coffee oils and residue can build up inside the pot, affecting the taste of your coffee.

Additionally, if the pot is not cleaned regularly, it can become a breeding ground for bacteria. The good news is that cleaning a Moka pot is relatively easy. Simply disassemble the pot and give all of the parts a good scrub with warm water and soap.

Once everything is clean, reassemble the pot and you’re good to go. So don’t neglect your Moka pot – give it a good cleaning every once in a while and enjoy your coffee even more!

5. Setting The Stove Too Hot

stovetop espresso machine

If you’re brewing coffee with a Moka pot on an electric stove, you might be tempted to set the stove to high heat in order to speed up the process. However, this is actually a bad idea.

When coffee grounds are exposed to too much heat, they can start to burn, resulting in a bitter and unpleasant flavor.

The brewing process also takes longer on high heat, so you’re not saving any time in the long run. It’s best to set the stove to medium or low heat and be patient – your coffee will taste much better as a result.

6. Maybe Your Moka Pot is Losing Pressure over Time

losing too much pressure

If you’ve been using the same Moka pot for a while, it’s possible that the seal is starting to wear down and lose pressure. This can result in a weak cup of coffee or no coffee at all.

If you’re noticing that your coffee isn’t tasting as good as it used to, try replacing the gasket on your pot. This is the part of the pot that seals the coffee grinds in and keeps the pressure intact. It’s a cheap and easy fix, and it could make all the difference in the taste of your coffee.

Read Also: Why Is Your Moka Pot Leaking

7. You Don’t Like Moka Pot Coffee in General

making espresso coffee with other brewing methods

It’s possible that you just don’t like the taste of Moka pot coffee. This is a personal preference, and there’s no reason to continue using a method that doesn’t produce the flavor you’re looking for.

There are plenty of other ways to make coffee at home, so don’t feel bad if a Moka pot isn’t your thing. Experiment with different brewing methods until you find one that’s perfect for you.

You can try to make coffee with a French press, an Aeropress, or even a drip coffee maker. There are endless possibilities, so don’t give up until you find the perfect way to make your favorite cup of coffee.

8. Not Using The Correct Coffee to Water Ratio

Brewing coffee is an exact science. Too much water and the coffee will be weak and watery. Too little water and the coffee will be strong and bitter. And using the wrong ratio of coffee to water can ruin your Moka pot brew.

Without the right amount of water, the brew will be too strong and taste burnt. The coffee will also have a metallic taste due to the high temperature of the water. So, before you start brewing, make sure you’re using the right ratio of coffee to water. This will ensure that your coffee comes out tasting just the way you like it.

9. Tamping The Grounds

You should avoid tamping the coffee grounds when brewing with a Moka pot. Tamping the grounds causes them to become compacted, and this can lead to over-extraction and a bitter cup of coffee.

Instead, simply let the grounds sit loosely in the pot – this will allow for better extraction and a more flavorful cup of coffee.

Read Also: Are Aluminum Moka Pots Safe?

10. Not Stirring The Coffee

Stirring the coffee is another important step that’s often overlooked. Stirring helps to evenly distribute the coffee grounds and ensure that they’re brewing properly.

If you don’t stir the coffee, it can result in an uneven brew with some grounds that are over-extracted and bitter while others are under-extracted and weak. So, make sure to give your coffee a good stir before putting the pot on the stove.

11. The Beans You Use Matter

The type of beans you use can also affect the taste of your coffee. If you’re using cheap, low-quality beans, it’s likely that your coffee will taste terrible regardless of how you brew it.

It’s important to use high-quality beans if you want a good cup of coffee. You can buy beans from your local supermarket or specialty coffee shop. Or, if you want to take your coffee game up a notch, you can try roasting your own beans at home.

12. Filling The Moka Pot with Too Little Water

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t give much thought to how much water you use to fill your Moka pot. After all, it’s just a little coffee maker, right? Wrong. The amount of water you use to fill your Moka pot can actually have a big impact on the quality of your coffee. If you use too little water, the coffee will be weak and watery.

So, next time you make a pot of coffee, take a minute to measure out the right amount of water and use it to fill your Moka pot. This small step can make a big difference in the taste of your coffee.

Read Also: Bialetti Brikka vs Moka Express

Frequently Asked Questions

pressure moka pots create when brewing

What’s wrong with my Moka pot?

If your Moka pot isn’t brewing coffee like it used to, there could be a few things wrong. Maybe the pot is old and needs to be replaced, or maybe it’s just broken. Either way, you can try a few things to troubleshoot the issue.

First, make sure that all of the parts of the pot are clean and free of any coffee grounds or build-up. If they’re not, give them a good cleaning and see if that helps. If not, you might need to buy a new Moka pot.

Why is there water left in the bottom of my Moka pot?

There’s water left in the bottom of your Moka pot because it doesn’t extract all of the coffee from the grounds.

The coffee in a Moka pot is extracted by pressure, not by boiling. The water in the bottom of the pot boils, and that steam rises up through the grounds and forces the coffee out of the holes in the top.

If there’s too much water in the bottom of the pot, it will boil longer than necessary and delay or prevent extraction from occurring. So make sure to fill your Moka pot no more than the recommended level.

Last Thoughts

So there you have it – our top 12 tips for avoiding common Moka Pot mistakes. We hope that this article has helped to clear up some of the confusion and give you the tools you need to make perfect coffee every time. If you’re still having trouble, or if you have any questions about using a Moka Pot, feel free to get in touch with us. We’d be happy to help!


Evelina’s passion for coffee could never been hidden. Having worked as a barista, she learned the true value of the coffee bean and its secrets. As she continued to evolve as a barista, so did her knowledge, techniques on making different coffee blends and most importantly how to operate every kind of gear when it comes to coffee. Having a degree in biomedicine and being a barista, allows her to provide our community with in-depth knowledge surrounding the topics of coffee.

Keep Reading